The Central Florida game and the 2002 MAC Championship game, which will be played at the home stadium of the East Division Champion, will be televised by ESPN2.
"We are excited about the 11 games we have scheduled and we hope to add one more game in the very near future," Herd coach Bob Pruett said. "We are especially excited about the number of national television opportunities we will have. We have the best quarterback in the nation in Byron Leftwich and those television games will give him a chance to let people across the country know how good he really is."
Each of the Herd's currently scheduled non-conference opponents won at least seven games last year and three other opponents finished 2001 with winning overall records.
The Herd will open the year at home against old Southern Conference rival Appalachian State on August 31. ASU posted a 9-4 record last year and advanced to the Division I-AA Playoffs. It will be the first meeting between the two since 1996 and Appy State holds an overall 14-7 lead in the series.
Marshall will then travel to face Big East power Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, for a Thursday night ESPN game on Sept. 12. The Hokies posted an 8-4 mark last year and played Florida State in the Gator Bowl. It will be the first meeting between the two schools since 1953 and Tech holds a 4-2 series lead.
The Herd will open Mid-American Conference play the following Friday night, Sept. 20, in an ESPN2 game against league newcomer Central Florida. The Knights were 6-5 last year, including a win over Akron. This will be the first meeting between the Herd and UCF.
The weekend of Sept. 28 is currently listed as TBA but negotiations are ongoing to fill that date with a 12th opponent for the 2002 season.
The Herd will open October with back-to-back MAC games, at Kent State (10/5) and at home against Buffalo (10/12). Marshall will play at Kent State for a second straight year due to the addition of UCF to the conference slate.
The final non-league opponent will be Troy State (10/19). The Trojans posted a 7-4 mark last year, including an impressive victory over Mississippi State and hard-fought losses to national powers Nebraska and national champion Miami.
The league slate will continue with consecutive road games against Central Michigan 910/26 and Akron (11/2) before a nationally televised games against Miami on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
The final two regular season weekend will see the Herd travel to Athens for the annual "Battle For The Bell" game against Ohio on Nov. 23 and a home date against Ball State on Nov. 30. The Mid-American Conference football championship game is slated for Saturday, Dec. 7, in the home stadium of the East Division champion.
All game times for the 2002 season will be announced later.
"We are excited about this schedule and are extremely happy that we can get it announced this early in the year," Marshall Director of Athletics Lance West said. "We are working hard to get a 12th game scheduled for Sept. 28 and hope to have something to announce on that very soon."
The Thundering Herd returns 10 starters on offense from a team that smashed school and league offensive records last year. The team posted an 11-2 record in 2001, including the "Miracle In Mobile" 64-61 double overtime GMAC Bowl victory over East Carolina University, a game the set or tied numerous NCAA bowl records.
Marshall will open spring practice on March 11 and will conclude spring drills on April 13 with the annual Green-White Spring Game.
2002 Marshall Football Schedule
Saturday Aug. 31 Appalachian State Huntington, WV TBA
Thursday Sept. 12 Virginia Tech $ Blacksburg, VA TBA
Friday Sept. 20 *Central Florida % Huntington, WV TBA
Saturday Sept. 28 TBA TBA TBA
Saturday Oct. 5 *Kent State Kent, OH TBA
Saturday Oct. 12 *Buffalo Huntington, WV TBA
Saturday Oct. 19 Troy State Huntington, WV TBA
Saturday Oct. 26 *Central Michigan Mt. Pleasant, MI TBA
Saturday Nov. 2 *Akron Akron, OH TBA
Tuesday Nov. 12 *Miami $ Huntington, WV TBA
Saturday Nov. 23 *Ohio Athens, OH TBA
Saturday Nov. 30 *Ball State Huntington, WV TBA
Saturday Dec. 7 MAC Championship % East Division Champion TBA
Home games in BOLD
* Mid-American Conference Game
$ ESPN National Television
% ESPN2 National Television